Musician, hip hop artist, record producer, entrepreneur, philanthropist and technology enthusiast will.i.am has been rewarded for his outstanding contribution to the engineering profession with an Honorary Fellowship from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
As a musician, producer, director and advocate for education, will.i.am is an enthusiastic user of technologies in both his professional and personal life. His company i.am+, fuses the worlds of technology, culture, fashion and Artificial Intelligence (AI). He also serves as a Strategic Board Advisor to Atom Bank, the UK’s first mobile bank, and is a Co-Founder of Amuse, the world’s first mobile record company.
As an innovation consultant he previously served as Chief Creative Officer of 3D Systems, and Director of Creative Innovation at Intel. He also created EKOCYCLE, a sustainable fashion and accessories brand in partnership with The Coca-Cola Company. He is also a founding equity shareholder in Beats Electronics, the creators of Beats by Dre headphones.
will.i.am is committed to inspiring children to stay in school and go to college to become the leaders of tomorrow, and he promotes the importance and power of a good education through his i.am.angel Foundation, which launched in 2009. The i.am angel Foundation gave a major gift to The Prince’s Trust in the UK toward the creation of STEM education and computer skills joint initiative.
On receiving his Honorary Fellowship, will.i.am said: “I am humbled to be recognised today with an Honorary Fellowship from the IET for helping to inspire the next generation get involved in engineering and STEM. I always tell the young kids that I come across aim your dreams down a path of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to not only fill jobs but create jobs. Surround yourself with other engineers and aim to be a part of the club that is out there solving the world’s problems. It’s an honour to be recognised – thank you so much.”
Nick Winser, IET President, said: “will.i.am is a true pioneer and role model to today’s generation and the next – it is so important that we inspire young people to think about engineering and technology as a possible career choice. He is an inspiration to young people, entrepreneurs and innovators and I am delighted that we are able to present him with an Honorary Fellowship, which is one of the IET’s highest honours.
“He has been an inspiration and role-model for generations of entrepreneurs, being directly involved in many companies, providing enthusiasm, mentoring, and financing which has led to technology-based wealth creation at scale.”
Will.i.am was announced as a recipient of an IET Honorary Fellowship at the IET Achievement Awards on Wednesday 15th November, alongside Dr Dolores Byrne OBE, Dr Hermann Hauser KBE and Professor Polina Bayvel CBE.